I have been doing TM(transcendental meditation) since I was 19. And though I have explored other forms of meditation – chi gong, when i was doing martial arts, kundalini and buddhist meditation – TM remained my base. I had only gone back to have a TM ‘check’ twice in all these years.
My chiropractor comes into town about once a month and I went to have an adjustment at his latest pop-up location which happened to be, the David Lynch Foundation, meditation center. I got talking with Lynne Kaplan, who is a TM teacher and she invited me to come listen to a speaker and have a group meditation . Meditation has been such a private thing for me all these years but the women’s group that met once a month felt compelling.
I have been going now for several months and find it to be very nourishing. Lynne starts by asking a question which we all give a quick answer to, then we meditate, then we have a tasty snack and listen to a speaker, which leads to conversation. The time is always charged with honesty, strength and courage of women living on the cusp of their quest.
Last Sunday, I walked in to find two gorgeous women in full LAPD uniforms. They had both recently begun TM and were going to give a talk. So in their Kevlar vests, with their gun belts, wool uniforms and sturdy shoes on we all meditated together. That alone was pretty astounding. Meditating in a yoga class, sure. Meditating in a park, on a bus, in a laundromat, at the beach, sitting on a curb, sure, done and done. But never have I meditated with two fully uniformed police officers.
What does Rumi say “Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I’ll meet you there”. Well, that’s what happened, and with cops – our cultural’s perfect image of all things right and wrong. That’s the image that invokes fear of being weighed and measured, found guilty and punished that we hold over from childhood. And to go into that field with cops, yeah, it will change you.
Lead officers Julie Nony and Maggie Dillard are twenty one year veterans of LAPD. They told of their journey into compassion, of how just being a woman cop often neutralizes hostile situations and that some cops are assholes.
TM is bringing mediation into schools and it’s helping children. The LAPD is open to offering meditation as a tool to officers. Julie and Maggie bring a whole other kind of courage to their job when they come and meditate with the people they serve and protect. How about cops and kids meditating together? Hmm interesting.
So for Lynne Kaplan, Julie Nony and Maggie Dillard I dedicate this podcast to you.
Episode #6 is about our pesky mind and how it is not designed for frustration and worry. Enjoy!